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Having enumerated the various sources from which the supplies of raw sugar have been obtained, it will be next in order to refer to the exports. These include raw and refined. The exports of raw sugar from Atlantic ports have been almost wholly of cargoes from the West Indies, Brazil and the Philippine Islands, that have been sent to Canada, the total of such re-shipments amounting to only 12,272 tons, the bulk of which went from New York.
The exports of refined have been more important, but fall considerably below the quantity shipped in 1885. This falling off has been due entirely to the reduction in the drawback allowed by the Government, which took effect November 1st, and practically put a stop to this branch of the sugar trade. For several years the Government has been urged to make this reduction, it being claimed that the allowance of $2.82 per 100 pounds was in reality equal to a bounty of about 1 cent per pound, and hence the enormous increase that had been witnessed in such exports, which were principally absorbed by Great Britain. British refiners complained of the injustice, and were constant in their protests against the operation of this law, but it was not until October that the Treasury Department took any action, and then it was to reduce the drawback allowance to $2.60 per 100 pounds, which was then announced as a provisional measure, as, after further investigation, it might be found necessary to make a still further reduction, in order to carry out fairly the spirit of the law. The drawback was never intended to be a source of direct profit to the shipper, but was for the purpose of reimbursing upon such sugar as was exported the duty which the Government bad collected. Improved methods and greater economy in the process of refining bad made it possible to obtain better results, so that the cheaper the cost of refining, the more profit was obtained from the drawback allowance. An adjustment that might have been fair and equitable fifteen, or even ten years ago, under new conditions became a source of profit, and hence the necessity for the reduction that has now taken place. The result has been a practical suspension of our export trade to Great Britain, the shipments made since November having been of trifling importance. The total exports of refined last year amounted to 72,261 tons, of which 67,315 tons were shipped from New-York, 4,931 tons from Boston, and 15 tons from Philadelphia, against a total export in 1885 of 123,930 tons. The exports of refined from San Francisco have been absorbed by British Columbia.
According to the tables on the preceding page, the total consumption of foreign and domestic sugar distributed from the Eastern and Southern States amounted to 1,195,466 tons, against 1,097,445 tons in 1885, an increase of 98,021 tons, or 8.93 per cent. In order to obtain the total consumption of sugar of all kinds, the product of domestic molasses sugar, the net deliveries upon the Pacific Coast and the yield of the maple groves must be added to the above.
The following statement shows the importations and deliveries of raw sugar for consumption in San Francisco for the year ending December 31 :
Consumption, ...... lbs. 230,721,819 163,450,011 162, 145, 135 Taking the several sources from which supplies have been drawn, the consumption, therefore, of raw sugar for the whole country, as compared with last year, has been as follows:
1884. Cane sugar consumed in the United
States on the Atlantic,.....tons, 1,194,758 1,097,445 1,116.847
72,386 Of sugar made from molasses,.
50,000 Of maple sugar,..
25,000 Of domestic beet root, sorghum, &c.
.tons, 1,388,371 1,215,574 1,265,283 Decrease,
100,892 Equal to an increase of 11.46 per cent., against a decrease of 1.55 per cent. the previous year, an increase of 8.66 per cent. in 1884, 8.02 per cent. in 1883, and 6.84 per cent. in 1882.
The large increase in consumption during the past year has been due, apparently, first, to the natural increase in population, and second, to the relative cheapness of sugar as an article of food. The average price of refined for the year has been the lowest on record, and it is fair to suppose that this fact has bad an important influence in stimulating production. That the figures given above very nearly represent the actual consumption of the country may be gathered from the fact, that throughout the year jobbers, dealers and retailers have reduced their working stocks to the narrowest proportions, carrying only sufficient to supply their current wants, and replenishing more frequently than would have been the case if the carrying of such stocks had not involved loss from shrinkage in value. The deliveries may be taken, therefore, as a close guide to actual consumption.
The relative volume of trade at the several ports, as compared with last year, shows an important increase at cach. The total receipts at the port of New York are 57,286 tons in excess of last year, while the deliveries, deducting the exports of raw and refined, are 35,417 tons greater than in 1885. The receipts at Boston are
30,502 tons in excess of last year, and at Philadelphia 18,203 tons. New Orleans has imported a little more than last year, and Portland a little less. Baltimore has entirely relinquished her sugar industry, and with it her foreign sugar trade. The inland retinery at St. Louis has been in operation, but has not been enabled to work its full capacity.
There has been a heavy increase in the importations at San Francisco, which are about 21,900 tons in excess of last year, which came entirely from the Hawaiian Islands, in consequence of increased cultivation and a favorable season. The bulk of these importations were contracted for by the two refineries located at that port, which have waged a fierce competition with each other ihroughout the year.
The following statement shows the deliveries of foreign and domestic sugar at this port for the past ten years : 1886, ..tons, 805,430 | 1881,.
..tons, 579,050 1885, 815.989 | 1880,.
559,652 1881, 738,715 1879,.
455,473 1883, 629,796 1878,
442,910 1882,. 573,003 | 1877,
425,732 The value of both raw and refined sugar touched the lowest prices during 1886 since the year 1854. Practically they are the lowest prices since the present methods of refining raw material bave been in practice. The average value of fair Cuba refining, 89° test, duty paid, for the year was 4.85 cents, against 5.18 last year, while in bond the average was 2.92 cents, against. 3.06 cents last
year. The highest for the year was 57', the lowest 416 cents. The average value of Cuba Centrifugal, 96 test, duty paid, for the year was 5.51 cents, and the average for granulated was 6.23 cents.
The following statement shows the yearly average price in currency of fair to good refining Cuba sugar for each of the past ten years : 1886, $4 85
$7 62 1885, 5 18 1880,
7 871 1884, 5 29 1879,
6 93 1883, 679 1878,
7 25 1882, 7 294 | 1877,
8 89 Average yearly price of granulated (refined) for each of the past ten years : 1886, $6 23 1881,
$9 70 1885, 6 52 1880,
9 80 1884, 6 75 1879,
8 81 1883, 8 65 1878,
9 30 1882, 9 341 | 1877,.....
10 89 The prospective supply for the current year now engages the attention of all who are interested in the sugar industry and the sugar trade, and the foreshadowed yield of the crops of all the principal producing countries of the world is being scrutinized with the closest attention. Sufficient data is already available to enable a fairly close estimate to be made of the probable supply that will become available, and although in some localities, where the process of manufacturing the
crop is just commencing, much will depend upon the regularity of seasons and normal conditions of heat and moisture, as to the actual out-turn, the fabrication of the beet crop has sufficiently advanced to admit of its size being pretty accurately measured, and the cane product of several countries is nearly completed. That the production of the world will exceed that of last year seems to be almost an assured fact, bui to what extent it will be in excess of the actual requirements of consumption, is the problem that those engaged in the trade are anxiously endeavoring to solve.
As beet sugar yields about one-half of the world's supply, the first importance attaches to its condition and prospects. The crop that is now in course of fabrication promises to be the largest that has ever been produced, exceeding even the phenomenal crop of 188485, and showing a surplus of about 455,000 tons compared with last year. The greatest increase has taken place in France, which is the direct result of the more favorable bounty system that is now in operation in that country, while Russia and Poland are the only countries that show a decrease compared with last year. The latest estimates of M. Licut, who is an accepted authority, place the total yield of Europe at 2,580,000 tons, and so far as the process of fabrication has progressed, there is every reason to expect that these estimates will be fully realized.
The following table exhibits the estimates for this year, and the actual out-turn of the crop for the previous two years :
825.080 1,151,817 France,
5:57,766 Russia and Poland,...,
88,462 Holland and other countries,.. 50,000
50,000 Total,....... ..tons, 2,580,000 2,12 1,293
2,515,898 The Island of Cuba is the most important source of supply for this country.
The actual out-turn of last year's crop, which was fully up to the early expectations that had been formed, amounted to 692,678 tons, or the largest crop since 1875.
The present crop, which is already in course of manufacture, the grinding season beginning about the middle of December, promises to be one of the largest that the island has ever produced. The weather thus far has been singularly favorable for maturing the cane and imparting to it a high saccharine value, and the results obtained from the early grinding have been satisfactory. The highest estimates of the yield do not exceed 800,000 tons, while the lowest are 600,000 tons, but reliable conservative authorities place the probable out-turu at 725,000 tons, taking into account the contingencies of weather, &c., with the probability that a favorable season will not materially increase this estimate. Thus far the crop is late, and estimates made at the beginning of a crop are often liable to overstate the prospective yield. Many plantations still adhere to the old methods of manufacture, and present low prices are not likely to stimulate production. The
crops of the British West Indies will probably exceed those
of last year by about 30,000 tons. Rains during the early part of December interfered to some extent with grinding operations, but benefited the standing cane.
Demerara, which last year marketed a crop of about 110,000 tons, is expected to show an excess of fully 10,000 tons.
Porto Rico will at least equal last year's crop of 40,000 tons, and may exceed it, while the latest accounts for Martinique and Guadaloupe speak of favorable warm weather and a prospective yield upon the two islands of 8,000 @ 10,000 tons in excess of last year.
The Brazil crop promises to be very much larger than last year, with some indications that it may come up to that of 1883–84, which amounted to 290,000 tons. The most conservative estimates admit an increase of thirty per cent., or about 60,000 tons compared with last year. By last mail advices the promise of a full crop was most encouraging.
Mauritius has complained of a lack of rain, and the drought appears to have seriously retarded as well as impoverished the cane. The harvest generally finished about January, and the latest advices admit that the crop will not equal the last by about 25,000 tons, and can scarcely exceed 90,000 tons.
The product of the Philippine Islands will probably equal, if it does not exceed, that of last year. In several provinces the cane was reported in bad condition on account of dry weather, but estimates generally foreshadowed a crop of about 215,000 tons, a large proportion of which is likely to come to this country.
Estimates of the Java crop are in excess of last year. The exports from China and India, although comparatively small, are not likely to exceed that of last year.
The Sandwich Islandslast year produced the largest crop in the history of sugar culture in the islands, amounting to 100,000 tons, but estimates for the present crop foreshadow a falling off of about 10,000 tons. It is of some importance, however, with respect to the future of the sugar industry of those islands that the United States Senate has just ratified a continuance of the reciprocity treaty with the Hawaiian Government, that will now probably remain in force for another seven years. It is the operation of this treaty that has expanded sugar culture in that locality to its present proportions, and the advantage of obtaining free entry for these sugars will no doubt further stimulate production.
The Peruvian crop, the bulk of which is shipped to Great Britain, will exceed that of last year.
The Louisiana crop has produced about 37,500 tons less than last year, the ascertained yield being a little more than 90,000 tons.
The estimated production of the world, so far as the quantities available for export are concerned, may be tabulated as follows, giving comparisons with the actual yield of previous years :
Total beet sugar,
1886-87. tons, 2,580,000
1885-86. 2,124,298 2,342,678
1884-85. 2,557,800 2,162,000
.... tons, 4,998,000